By Matt Youngfrau
LOCH SHELDRAKE November 20, 2001 Each year, there are sure signs that the holiday season is approaching.
The weather gets a little colder.
The leaves begin to fall off the trees.
The Sunday before Thanksgiving, Sullivan County Community College hosts its Annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair.
The 31st Annual Craft Fair took place Sunday, November 18 in the Paul Gerry Fieldhouse, and drew more than 2,000 people over the course of six hours. It was one of the largest crowds in the events history, and that was made very evident, as the fieldhouses parking lot was packed and vendors ran out of merchandise.
"The turnout today is amazing," commented event organizer Cindy Bennedum. "It is very crowded this year. We have a lot of repeat vendors and new vendors. It is a good mix."
There were a total of 125 vendors at the event, and their merchandise was as varied as the locations they came from. Items available for purchase included Christmas trinkets, soaps, chocolates, cakes, paintings, wood carvings, and candles.
"This is a good start for my Christmas shopping," Loch Sheldrake resident Steve Burke remarked. "This is a wonderful event for the community. It can't be beat."
"It is always nice to see the community come together like this," Director of Campus Activities James Goldfarb stated. "There have been some exciting displays here. It's been a good day."
While most vendors were there to further their own businesses, there were two raising money for charity. The reigning Sullivan County beauty queens, Young Miss Jacqueline Wallace, Pre-teen Bianca Rappaport and Teenager Michelle DiSanto were selling soap and other items to raise money for the ASPCA.
Seletsky Vending was selling soup and raffles to raise funds for the Beamer Foundation. Proceeds benefit the families of Flight 93, fighting terrorism, and expanding Todd Beamer's vision for training youth for a better tomorrow.
"It is heartwarming to see the response we got," Arnold Seletsky said. "The money raised today will go a long way."